Japan has decided to resume whaling in the Antarctic Ocean by the end of March after a hiatus since last year, a move likely to prompt international outrage.
The International Court of Justice ruled in March last year that Japan’s decades-old whale hunt in the Antarctic should stop, prompting Tokyo to cancel the bulk of its whaling for the 2014/2015 season.
The order from the United Nations court was binding and cannot be appealed.
–Reuters, “Japan to resume Antarctic whale hunt despite ICJ ruling; International Court of Justice ruled last year that Japanese whaling must stop, amid widespread outrage at the practice,” The Telegraph, November 28, 2015 (9:52AM GMT).
Pdatrick Ramage, “Will Japan join the U.N. Security Council and defy the World Court on whaling?” IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), October 14, 2015
In defying the judgment of the International Court of Justice, Japan is giving strong impetus to a growing tendency of major nations to ignore fundamental norms of the United Nations Charter, which has constituted the basic framework for international peace and security since 1945.
If Vladimir Putin can invade the Crimea and the eastern Ukraine in flagrant violation of the prohibition of the threat or use of force contained in Article 2(4) of the Charter, and Japan or any other country can defy a judgment of the ICJ in flagrant violation of Article 94(1) of the Charter, and other nations acquiesce in these actions, what is left of the postwar legal order?
What legal argument can Japan use if China decides to seize islands in the East China Sea or the South China Sea in violation of Article 2 (4) of the Charter? Can it argue that some binding articles (e.g., Article 2 paragraph 4) of the Charter are really binding, but others (e.g., Aericle 94 paragraph 1) are not?
The great tragedy here is that Japan, a real democracy, is standing on the side of Putin in tearing down the U.N. Charter.
The Trenchant Observer